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James Daly fury at 'sexism' as Armagh ladies are denied Croke Park setting for All-Ireland Dublin tie

By Declan Bogue

Armagh ladies football manager James Daly has reacted angrily to news that his side will not be permitted by the GAA to play their All-Ireland semi-final this Saturday against Dublin as a double header in Croke Park.

"The way I look at it is that sexism is alive and well in the GAA today," fumed Daly.

"We have had our game in place for months and the men (Mayo and Dublin) had a drawn game in Croke Park. Within an hour, everybody is moving our game to make way for them."

The Orchard County were fixed to play their Dublin counterparts, known as The Jackies, at 5.00pm on Saturday in Parnell Park. However, a clash of television scheduling - with TG4 as the official broadcasters of ladies' football - has caused their game to be moved to a 2.00pm throw-in.

Despite that, the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association made a request to the GAA to ask if they could play as part of the undercard of the Dublin v Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay, and made a statement from their official Twitter account. It read: "Just to confirm. We have explored hosting a double header in Croke Park next Saturday. This won't happen because of the All-Ireland Hurling final."

The reason cited for this was the potential damage to a pitch that has to host three games in 23 hours.

"Why could they not have played their game at 2.00pm, and let our game stand the way it was?" asked Dromintee clubman Daly.

"They could have, without any doubt, have let us play in Croke Park and give all the girls a big day out. But the men's GAA don't like to do those things. They like to let on that they are integrating, but it is all for show.

"I am not happy about it at all. It's the same old story. There's nothing we can do about it.

"In 2012, we were in an All-Ireland Intermediate final and there was a replay in the hurling final (Kilkenny and Galway) and they announced right away after the hurling draw that it would be on September 30.

"Little did they realise that the women's finals were set to be on that date and they were all bumped on a week.

"President (Liam) O'Neill said at the time that this will never be done again, but here we are again. As they do, they just pushed in and I am not happy at all."

Elsewhere, Dublin's Philly McMahon will be free to play in Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final replay against Mayo.

The Central Competitions Control Committee yesterday reviewed video footage after Aidan O'Shea claimed he was headbutted, but concluded that the evidence was not conclusive.

Mayo attacker Cillian O'Connor also escaped punishment for the damage inflicted on Rory O'Carroll, while Dublin appear likely to appeal the red card awarded to Diarmuid Connolly after his confrontation with Mayo player Lee Keegan in injury-time. His hearing could be as early as tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, it is expected that the Tyrone county board will fill all their county management positions at their September monthly meeting tonight in Garvaghy.

It is expected that the clubs will push for Mickey Harte to be given another two or three-year extension as senior manager, while Feargal Logan will be given the green light, along with his backroom selectors of Peter Canavan and Brian Dooher, to defend their All-Ireland Under-21 title.

The role of minor management is less clear, with the intentions of the management team of last year, Mickey Donnelly, Brian McGuigan and Ryan McMenamin, unclear at the present time.

In other news, it is understood that Armagh and Dublin have had their €10,000 fines following incidents arising from their challenge match reduced to €6,500. When contacted yesterday, the Armagh county board had no comment to make.

No players from either the Armagh or Dublin team will be punished for their part in the melee that broke out prior to the match beginning.

However, Armagh may have another issue on their hands. It is believed that their star attacker Jamie Clarke has been cited for an incident in their defeat to Galway in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

In this offence, Clarke would miss out on playing in the first National League game of the season, as Armagh begin life in Division Two in 2016. Manager Kieran McGeeney would scarcely accept such a fate and it would seem likely that the Orchard County will present some level of appeal at a later stage on behalf of the Crossmaglen attacker.

Belfast Telegraph


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